MEMBERS OF THE Assimakopoulos family, former owners of Brothers Deli-Restaurant on Main St., were honored by the Wakefield Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce for their 40 years of service to the community on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 3 at the Americal Civic Center. (L-R): Arthur Assimakopoulos and his fiancée Nelly; Jimmy Assimakopoulos; Maria Assimakopoulos; Angela Assimakopoulos; grandson Alex Polghronakos; Wakefield Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Smolinsky and Chamber co-Presidents Janice M. Casoli; and Christopher M. Barrett. (Gail Lowe Photo)


WAKEFIELD—No one seems to know how he kept all the orders straight, but that’s what Jimmy Assimakopoulos did over the past 40 years as he worked at his grill. The owner of Brothers Deli-Restaurant on Main Street had plenty of help from his wife and co-owner Maria, son Arthur and daughter Angela.

By the end of Saturday, Sept. 2 Jimmy had fried his last egg and made his last Reuben. On that day, his long career serving delicious food—and always with a smile on his face—came to an end.

On Sunday, Sept. 3, the Assimakopoulos family were honored by the Wakefield Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce with a send-off held at the Americal Civic Center from 2 to 4 p.m. About 75 people attended the event, including Janice M. Casoli and Christopher M. Barrett, co-presidents of the Chamber.

State Representative Donald H. Wong was also on hand to wish them well. He provided Chinese food from his restaurant, Kowloon, in Saugus and presented them with a citation signed by himself and Speaker of the House Ronald Mariano. “The Assimakopoulos family brought so much to the town,” said Wong. “They served food that made you feel good.”

Wakefield Police Department Deputy Chief Craig Calabrese was also there to give the family a citation from his fellow officers.

Calabrese said that the restaurant “has been everything to us.”

“Our police officers would stop in at 5:30 a.m. to get something to eat,” he said. “Every time we needed something, they were there for us.”

Chamber Executive Director John Smolinsky said that Brothers is a part of the fabric of the community and the Assimakopoulos family will be missed.

In response, Jimmy called it a “hard day” but thanked everyone for their loyalty, patronage and good memories. Though Jimmy and his family will no longer be there to serve customers, the restaurant will continue under new ownership. Sonia Bhardwaj-Patel said that she and her husband and cousins (Sunny Patel, Om Kotadia and Parag Patel) are looking forward to providing the same level of food and service customers of Brothers are accustomed to. The new owners, who plan to keep the Brothers name, also have restaurants in the North End of Boston, Newton, Waltham and Dracut.

Bhardwaj-Patel said that she and her family members were handed “a great opportunity” from the Assimakopoulos family. 

“We want to keep the restaurant going,” she said. Son Arthur reminisced about his contributions to the family-owned business. 

“I started working at the restaurant when I was eight years old,” he said. “I bused tables, washed dishes, did prep work and got drinks for customers,” he said. Arthur, now 41, also worked at the grill. “Coming to work was like going to your house,” he said. “You see people come and go and they are like family.” He plans to look for a new job when he and his fiancée Nelly welcome their first baby in the fall.

His sister Angela will also look for a job that fits her talents and skills. “Everyone was always so nice,” she said about the restaurant’s customers. “It was always fun working there.” The Assimakopouloses also have a daughter Terri, an interior designer who lives in Greece.